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The ‘Virgin Births’ of Other Faiths

18 Dec

People on the discussion boards today keep wanting to inform me that the Virgin Birth of Jesus as expressed in the New Testament is nothing more than a copy of an earlier Greek myth or even myths out of the Hindu, Zoroastrian or Buddhist faiths. What about this? Is what these people say actually so? Well, if anyone wishes to know the truth about these things, it is available to anyone who has an open mind and wishes to know.

According to Greek mythology Zeus is supposed to have lusted after the virgin princess, Danae, and as the great god would have it, he came to her one evening, and she became pregnant with Perseus, the Greek hero who decapitated Medusa. If one rapes or seduces a virgin, and the virgin becomes pregnant, is the resulting birth a “virgin birth” by virtue of the fact that the maiden was not married? Who can read Luke’s account of the angel visiting Mary and find any similarity with Zeus’ lust for and his rape / seduction of the princess, Danae? Sexual intercourse was completed in the myth after Danae was seduced with a shower of gold from Zeus. Where is the parallel here? I don’t see any. This is nothing more than non-Christian critics using Christian vocabulary to describe an otherwise horrible act committed against a helpless young girl mentioned in a Greek myth.

Another supposed similarity comes from the Zoroastrian religion. This was supposedly a monotheistic religion which began in Babylon. Truth be known, it probably began as a result of the influence of the Jews during their captivity there, but scholars are disdainful of giving credit to the Jewish faith for its originality and influence. In any case the like is true of this story, as well. Supposed scholars with a vivid imagination saw something in a foreign religion and used Christian vocabulary to describe some of the events that are claimed to have taken place. And, “presto” we have a parallel of the birth of Jesus! Who is surprised here? Moreover, Christians are supposed to have copied it, but the fact is the conclusions are drawn from the imaginations of a few scholars with a not-so-secret bias and an axe to grind against Christianity.

In the matter of Zarathushtra’s (Greek = Zoroaster) virgin birth, it is pretty much an invention. His mother, Dughdova, was supposed to have been filled with royal glory or a ray, but even if this were true, she was not a virgin! She was already the wife of Pourushaspa and the supposed virgin birth is their child, not divine [Herzfeld, Ernst. “Zoroaster and His World” Octagon Books, 1974. pp. 18, 24]! Not only so, but the very suggestion of Zarathushtra’s virgin birth comes from the Avesta, which dates to several centuries following Christ, about the 4th century CE, I believe. If someone is copying from anyone, it is Zoroastrianism copying from Christianity!

Similar to this is the supposed parallels of events in the life of Krishna with some of the events recorded about Jesus.[1] In this case we probably have an actual corruption of the truth. Christianity was preached in India according to Christian tradition (the real Gospel of Thomas), the content of which aligns very well with what we can know of the ancient history of India. The story has Nanda, Krishna’s foster-father, going to Mathura to pay his taxes. While he was there, Krishna was born in a cow-shed. A massacre of infants also occurred in Mathura. Krishna raised a widow’s son from the dead and was anointed with precious ointment by a woman named Kugja. Does any of this sound familiar? Well, sure enough all this is written in the Hindu sacred writings known as the Bhagavad Gita. The only problem is those parts of the Gita that speak of Krishna and are used to show similarities to Jesus were written in Classical Sanskrit.[2] Classical Sanskrit didn’t exist until at least the 2nd century CE, thus proving Christianity existed before the Krishna story in the Bhagavad Gita. Christianity had great influence upon many communities in India in the early centuries of our present era, according to very early Christian tradition. The problem is the people have forgotten who their Savior really is.


[1] The Virgin Birth could not be considered as among those ‘parallels,’ because Krishna was actually the eighth son of his mother, Devaki (http://www.webonautics.com/mythology/avataar_krishna.html; and http://www.webonautics.com/mythology/avataar_krishna2.html; ).

[2] I made a typo (mistake) here and wrote “ancient” instead of Classical. It should have read “Classical” Sanskrit from the beginning. A comment below brought this to my attention.

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2 Comments

Posted by on December 18, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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2 responses to “The ‘Virgin Births’ of Other Faiths

  1. M Plott

    December 24, 2010 at 20:34

    Sanskrit didn’t exist until at least the 2nd century CE, thus proving Christianity existed before the Krishna story in the Bhagavad Gita. You may wnat to check on that again. Sanskrit came about 4 BCE. So doesn’t that make it about 4oo years before the Christ.

     
    • Eddie

      December 24, 2010 at 23:52

      M. Plott—hello, and welcome,
      Thank you for your kind correction. Indeed ancient Sanskrit did exist before the time of Christ. However, this is a typo. I meant to write “Classical” Sanskrit. I am not sure if this would have changed your argument, since some scholars also believe the “Classical” Sanskrit dates before the birth of Jesus as well.
      As I understand it, the evidence for a 4th century BCE Classical Sanskrit is a bit subjective, and linguistic reconstruction can hardly be proved satisfactorily. Its theory is worked out by showing “evidence” of a close relationship with other ancient tongues at that time. The problem is there is no objective evidence showing the existence of Classical Sanskrit until about the middle of the 2nd century CE. Here we find an inscription in the Brahmi script, which records the repair in the 2nd century CE of a dam built earlier by Chandragupta Maurya in the 4th century BCE. The inscription contains a composition in verse praising its builder, and I believe it is considered the first public literary composition in Classical Sanskrit. — Source: Nirad C. Chaudhuri, Hinduism, Oxford University Press, 1979, page 39; and R. Venkataraman, Indian Archaeology, Ennes Publications, 1985, page 223.

       

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